Politics & Government

‘Walmart Moms’ lean Democratic, and they’ve been on a winning streak

A polling station during the midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
A polling station during the midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Washington, D.C. MCT

As Democrats worry over today’s voting in key battlegrounds, the results of the latest so-called “Walmart Moms” survey could offer some hope.

Walmart Moms are women who have shopped at the discount giant in the last month and have a child under 18 at home. They are racially and economically diverse, but can tend to live paycheck to paycheck. When it comes to voting, they are often late deciders.

They have also shown themselves to be swing voters and as a group, a pretty accurate political bellwether.

Walmart Moms voted for President Obama in 2008, sided with Republicans in the 2010 midterms when the GOP regained control in the House and added seats in the Senate – to say nothing of the massive defeat of Democrats on the state level. They also supported Obama again in 2012.

And this year?

We’ll know soon enough whether their streak holds. But going into Election Day, even as polls show Republicans closing well in several pivotal contests where Democrats held a lead, Walmart Moms favor Democrats over Republicans in congressional races by six percentage points _ 46-40 percent.

“We found Walmart Moms to be kind of like a good barometer on how the country is going,” said Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who helps conduct the survey. “They gone with the winner in ’08, ‘10 and ‘12 and going into this election, these results indicate they are siding with Democrats.”

Newhouse, a veteran pollster who is otherwise cautiously confident about how his party will do, said the lates Walmart Moms results are “going against conventional wisdom. We’ll see.”

Pollster Margie Omero, his Democratic partner in the survey, said her “gut” tells her the moms will lean Democratic. “Whether they lean six points or something else….What I find really interesting is what drives them. Local issues are so salient. It just shows what a disconnect there is between what these moms care about” and what Washington lawmakers talk about.

The Walmart Moms make up 12 percent of a national survey of 800 likely voters conducted last Thursday through Sunday.